|Shelby GT500 vs Boss 302|
Posted by Yulius purnomo heri s on Saturday, August 17, 2013
Ford Mustang -
2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 vs 2013 Boss 302 Road test and Video Compare, Ford of Canada, the racetrack seemed like the most obvious place to test its 2014 Mustangs, including the Shelby GT500, the Boss 302, the V6 Coupe with a track pack and a convertible with a 5.0L V8. And Ford couldn’t have found a nicer track than Calabogie Motorsports Park about 50 minutes west of Ottawa.
Here the wide ribbon of smooth asphalt snakes its way through some 20 turns over 5.05 kilometres of countryside to make for one of the most challenging, and prettiest, road courses in the country. It’s the Augusta of racetracks, challenging enough to make most cars and drivers sweat before leaving the paddock.
The 2014 Shelby GT500 is a hoary enough beast to make most of the En-Track Experience driving instructors sweat on this warm summer’s day, too. The car’s 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque is astonishing — numbers more suited to a NASA missile than a Ford coupe. It is more power than most auto writers gathered here on this day will have witnessed in all four of their previous test cars combined. It is more horsepower in one car than anything I have ever driven. It is a small version of the shuttle Endeavor made to look street legal with the addition of seats and wheels and somehow, I am not supposed to crash it. It is the most powerful production V8 in the world. Did I mention that Calabogie also has an impenetrable cement wall flanking the end of one long straight?
It is here, on the long, fast straights of Calabogie that the Shelby shines brightest. With new cooling, aerodynamics, brakes, suspension and exhaust for 2014, the Shelby gives off a deliciously mild whine as the supercharged 5.8L thunders out power to the special Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar rear tires. The sound from the large oval exhaust pipes is as good as Matt Kenseth’s Taurus stock car. It is pure bliss.
The tires, backed by a stiffened suspension and better aerodynamics, do a good job of keeping understeer at bay, and the traction control system will step in to correct any that might creep in. The $61,699 Shelby, weighing 1,750 kilograms, does tend to dip its nose under hard braking at top speed, which of course also raises the rear end, so it’s ultra important to settle this car before initiating any turns at high speed. Fortunately, the car is quick to respond to inputs, comes quickly off the Brembo brakes that are 55 per cent better at controlling fade, and has such long gear ratios that first gear can reach 100 km/h and second can go to 160km/h. Third is the most we ever needed from the Tremec six-speed manual at Calabogie. The Shelby is not terribly difficult to manage with all that’s happening but does require intense focus, as well as patience because the power band is nearly limitless. In my zero to 100 km/h runs, the Shelby registered 3.8 seconds, but 3.7 seconds is possible. An optional Track Package that adds an external engine oil cooler, along with coolers for the differential and transmission, seems sensible given the prodigious heat this car produces.
So with all that power, and an available torsen limited-slip rear differential, the Shelby should have been the most fun at the track, right?
Oddly, no, that honour goes to the $48,799 Boss 302 Mustang with only 444 horsepower from its specially-tuned V8. It seems odd to say “only” 444 horsepower, and even stranger to say the Shelby — a Camaro ZL1 and Corvette fighter — wasn’t my favourite weapon, given its enormous performance and track capabilities. But the Boss, which receives projector headlamps and a Track Apps feature as standard equipment for 2014, feels so much more manageable, so much more sensible on the track.
The suspension, steering, clutch, brakes and tires of the Boss all work together in such perfect balance that the car delivered consistent feedback and lap times, making for one of the most satisfying performances I have felt at Calabogie. The tight shifter always landed in the right gear and the pedals were ideal for heel, toe shifting. Where the Shelby felt like a dominant lion, the Boss felt like a cheetah, more nimble, more forgiving. No wonder one of the owners of Calabogie bought a Boss Mustang for himself — the car is perfectly set up for track time, yet can be docile and civil on the street around town.
The $44,299 5.0L Mustang Convertible with 420 horsepower, or the $23,999 V6 Coupe with a 305 horsepower V6, are equally suitable for life on the street, yet they too will deliver some impressive fun should some track time come available.
No matter which Mustang is driven, each will become a different car on the track, where the car’s racing and performance roots will be fully revealed. Just be wary of any Shelby or Boss filling the rear-view mirror.